CC Commenter Sally Sublette sent me this shot of a Great Smokey Mountains overlook, shot sometime in the early 1950s. Once someone IDs the newest car, we’ll know the exact year. And all the cars. Have fun enjoying the scenery.
The newest car I can find is the ’54 Buick Special/Century that is partially obscured by the tree near the front of the picture. A little ways back on the left side is a ’53 or ’54 Studebaker. My guess is that the picture was taken in 1954.
Agree. The Buick is a 54; Packard a 53 or 54. I don’t see any 55 or newer Fords, Chevys, or Plymouths, which would (I think) be the most common.
The light blue Buick in the foreground looks the newest…………looks like a ’55.
Light blue Buick has 53 or 54 tail lights. Windshield looks like 54
As a young’un compared to some of you and hearing the same complaint over and over in regard to newer cars, I really do have to sincerely say that “All of these cars look pretty much exactly the same to me.” I like them and they are interesting but to me there is not a huge amount of differentiation apparent without an in-depth perusal. Congratulations to those able to name them all!
What makes the 54 Buick obvious is the wrap around windshield which was new for 1954 (except the 1953 Eldorado). This Buick has the two round tail lights which makes it 1954, as the 55 had different tail lights. A lot of the cars have a distinct rear fender bulging out around the rear tire, which is early 50’s style, gone by 1955.
Try looking at these cars a ground level Jim. I am sure you would notice huge differences in design. Especially when you compare that little Nash or the Studebakers to the other cars..
I think you’re onto something Jim. Personally, I think cars of any era all tend to look the same. Manufacturers ape each other, which is apparently what We The People like in our cars.
Us car nuts go, “well that’s obviously a 76′ not a 75′ Flubinvator Curdooba Brougham Classic Wimbledon Edition because it’s got the 1.5 inch chrome trim over the doors instead of the 1.0 inch.”
The average person goes, “it’s a car”.
Many is the person I’ve possibly bored to death whilst expounding on the exact differences between car A and car B, only to get done with my mini lecture and have them say, “I still can’t tell the difference”.
I think cars of any era all tend to look the same. Manufacturers ape each other…
Yes, a thousand times yes. Music is exactly the same, too.
I’m even youngun-er, but I think the late 50s-mid 70s had more diversity in looks than either the eras before or after. The longer, lower, wider era was a unique period of very different looking, and especially amongst themselves, cars. I can’t easily name most of these but could pick out a lot of 1959s, 1969s, or 1979s even though all are before my time.
I think that GM’s cars tended to all look alike from a side view in the 50’s or later. However, I do agree that the other Big Three cars were different looking from each other and GM. Now everyone is trying to lower the drag coefficient so from a side view the rear windows are mostly of the fastback design making the cars very similar from the side.
Cars from before World War Two all look alike to me, or at least I have no idea what they are, except for a frontal view of a Rolls, which has not changed much since before WW One.
It would appear to be a place called “Newfound Gap” (I’ve never been there), where THE big dedication ceremony for the Park was held w/Roosevelt, etc. in 1940. If the CC photo was 1955 or later, I’d think there’d be a new ’55 Chevy or Ford jumping out of the picture–but maybe I’m just too hopeful. (Thanks for posting, Paul!)
Newfound Gap—yep I know it well. If I can find a more recent picture, I’ll post it for comparison. Google Streetview has some images from Newfound from 2016 I think. I’ve driven there as well as hiked through there on many occasions. The AT runs right through it.
Might be a 53-54 Studebaker in the line on the left, due to the lack of a grill and shape of rear fenders, but somehow the rear of the roofline doesn’t look quite right.
51-52 Nash Rambler wagon in the foreground of center line, and farther up, 2-50 Studebakers bracketing a 52-54 Nash.
Frankly, the rest of the cars aren’t all that interesting 😉
All these cars are at the edge of the resolution as far as spotting details, but yes that Studebaker is a ’53 (new body) or ’54 (slightly facelifted).
Had to be no later than summer 1954 by fall, there would be at least one 55 Chevy or Ford in any group of cars.
Agree that it must be summer of 54. The cars make it 54 at the latest. The foliage at that elevation kids on break says summer.
In the distant background there could be a 55 model that is too fuzzy to identify. About all that can be said is that it is probably 1954 or possibly 1955.
Nice, I was there on a motorcycle trip in 2010 with my wife and uncle. Here’s a photo along 441
The link has the Hemmings crowd (2016) parsing a pair of photos of similar “vintage”—no one can seem to spot a ’55 anything: https://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2016/04/29/newfound-gap-north-carolina-1950s/
Great photo. They sure had to do a lot of blasting so people could stop to see the view. 🙂
judging by the foliage in the little overgrown area in the foreground it looks to have been taken almost the exact time as the main featured photo, yet interestingly the shed in the distance is gone in the top photo.
Here’s a newish picture of, I think, the same place.
Here is a Google Earth image. Still a popular spot.
I am sure I have been to that spot. My folks loved the Smokies and we went there on most of our vacations starting in 1959. My sister had Mom & Dad’s home movies put on D DVD a couple of years ago. I can tell what year our vacation movies were taken because Dad got a new company car each fall and that was the one we always took on our trips. Our other car was Mom’s ’53 Ford or later a ’53 Plymouth in town beater.
Those were good trips.
That’s a familiar scene. My Grandparents took their honeymoon in the Smokey Mountains. I actually had to check the picture I have to make sure it wasn’t the one my Grandpa took (I’ve posted elsewhere so it could have been making the rounds). Anyway, here’s the shot my Grandpa would have taken with his Leica camera a bit before the featured picture. As it’s their honeymoon I know when the picture was taken (+/- a week or two), but I don’t want to wreck the fun.
And here’s a different angle from my Grandpa. Not as interesting as the first shot, but I know people here will find that bus in the background interesting.
Those are nice, clear photos (a reminder of all the “megapixels” you can get onto a 35mm frame), with colors well preserved. All I know is that there are some 1949-1950 Fords there, and I don’t see anything that’s obviously 1953 or later—-but I could be dead wrong. Thanks for sharing, TS.
Nice Flxible bus there. It almost looks like the one my car club has. That’s not ours, though, as it was used as a city bus in New Albany, Indiana. The straight 8 Buick engine blew up in a big way a few years back and has been replaced with the usual 350 Chevy and Turbo 350 transmission.
Thanks. The photos my Grandpa took around that time look amazing, thanks to him using Kodachrome. Almost like they were shot yesterday. Unfortunately a few years later he switched to Ektachrome and in all those images the blue and green has faded completely away leaving a red and white monochromatic image.
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